Students enrolled in the trapper’s course taught by Alcide Giroux recently went over the proper use of the snares as seen on the tables. Shown are (back row) Sebastien Giroux, Cody Giroux, Jeff McLeod, Alcide Giroux (front row) Brian Case, Nick Rayan, Vincent Arbour, Joey Lebeau, Briane Dauphinais and Denise Beaudry. Absent : Nathaniel McLeod.
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by Isabel Mosseler
Local trapper and author Alcide Giroux continues to dedicate his time and experience to keeping a tradition alive and thriving. His nine week Fur Harvest and Management program, a course he’s been teaching for almost 40 years, has 10 local students, and it’s about to be wrapped up.
On Friday evening, March 17, the class was going through a session on snares, their last class before exams. Giroux remains passionate about sharing his experience as a professional trapper and a fully certified instructor. “This time I took ten students. They wanted the course; they needed their license. In Ontario, since 1982 this course is mandatory to obtain a permit to harvest, to trap, or any kind of trapper’s license.”
It’s also a question of heritage. Every single one of Giroux’s students has a trapping history in their family. Giroux doesn’t offer the course regularly, but two of his students, father and son Jeff and Nathaniel McLeod of Nipissing First Nation, contacted the MNR to find out about a course. “Right now I’m offering the course on demand. I do it when there is a need for it. The MNR was happy in this case because I have two young Natives who want that course very bad because they can’t sell their furs unless they have that tag,” he explains. “Jeff McLeod is the oldest guy in the class, a very sharp cookie. … A few of these kids, like young Cody Giroux, he’s a cousin, and young Vincent Arbour, his dad has a trapper’s license. They are all boys who want to trap.”
Additionally, Giroux’s wife Denise is taking the course, and one other young lady. “Briane Dauphinais, her granddad was Guy Dauphinais and he was a very good trapper. He passed it on to his son Pierre. (…) and Briane, after she passes the exam, she gets a certificate from the head office of the Ontario Fur Managers Federation, and then she obtains a trapper’s license, and she can assist her dad.”